If Cooking is a Way to “Show Love,” Shouldn’t Both Partners Do It?

Relationships take work. Nobody is perfect, and when you form a relationship, you agree to compromise with your partner to enhance both of your lives. 

Unfortunately, some people see relationships as a one-way street, where they receive all the benefits while giving up nothing in return. 

While enjoying the R/relationship community on Reddit, I came across a thread showcasing one of the worst examples of a taker in a relationship I’ve seen in a long time. 

Boyfriend Wants Her To Cook

A young woman came to Reddit seeking advice about her relationship. Her boyfriend, whom she recently moved in with, expects her to cook every night while they both work full-time jobs. 

“I work a full-time job from home (35hrs/week condensed work week with most Fridays off), and my boyfriend works as an electrician (40hrs/week),” the OP (original poster) began. 

“We moved in a couple months ago, and at the time, he told me that he views food as an expression of love and that he would like me to make our dinners on the days that we’re working.”

Days We’re Working Morphed Into Everyday

She thought the request was reasonable at first. She was at home anyway, and it was easy for her to get dinner started. 

However, she soon found that her boyfriend refused to reciprocate, even on their days off. 

“As I work from home, I am happy to do the majority of the cooking, but since he moved in, I’ve been doing almost all of it. I can’t remember the last time he made us a meal since he moved in,” she said. 

“Last week was brutally cold outside, and his job site was shut down, he didn’t make dinner then, and he hasn’t cooked any meals on the weekends either,” she added. 

It gets worse. The loving gesture soon morphed into an unreasonable expectation that OP would have dinner ready for the boyfriend no matter what. 

“Even if I decide to go to the gym, the expectation is that I have dinner ready or that there’s leftovers from the dinner I made the night before. I have made bulk meals before, but he told me that he doesn’t like leftovers more than two nights in a row.”

He Throws a Fit When Asked to Help

OP had enough and decided to discuss the arrangement with her partner. 

“I finally had enough and decided to ask him to cook 1-3 meals a week, it instantly became an argument.”

He threw out every excuse in the book to avoid cooking dinner: he works long hours, her work isn’t as hard as his, cooking is a way to show him love, and making dinner isn’t hard “it only takes 30 seconds to take chicken out of the freezer.”

The boyfriend also had the nerve to say he was upset that OP no longer made his lunches, which OP stopped after realizing “ I was feeling sick of spending so much time in the kitchen.”

He also stressed how easy and convenient the current dinner situation is and didn’t understand why OP was upset about it. 

OP Seeks Advice

OP came to Reddit looking for advice. 

“I told him that I really need him to be my partner on this and that him making a few meals a week would be more fair,” she said, adding, “I want is for him to be responsible for 1-3 meals per week, with at least one during the work week.”

She also explained her reasoning. 

“When I cook him dinner, he sees it as an expression of love, but when I ask him to handle dinner, he views it as a chore. He feels loved when I make him a meal, and I want to feel loved in that way too. I feel trapped in this house and that I don’t have a partner on this issue.”

“What should I do?” she asked the relationship community. 

OP’s Boyfriend is a Taker

Redditors quickly pointed out that all his “reasons” were invalid. 

“If it’s not that big of a deal, then he can do it. If it doesn’t take much time, then he can do it. If he isn’t working, then he can do it. If it’s an expression of love, then he can do it because that works both ways,” said one user. 

They added, “The only answer I truly believe, the only one that stands up, is that it’s convenient for him. Of course, it is. He does not want to cook. That’s it.”

“Of course, the way things have been has been “convenient.” He doesn’t have to do anything.” replied another. “If making dinner isn’t that hard, and it only takes 30 seconds to take chicken out of the freezer, why can’t he do that?”

What Should OP Do?

There were lots of responses on how OP should handle the situation. Some included a lot of snark and passive aggressive comments. 

‘I would just put him some uncooked chicken on the plate. He said it takes 30 sec to take the chicken out of the freezer. Unfortunately, the chicken didn’t cooked itself alone, so he must eat it like this, since “just 30 seconds!” advised one user. 

Another said she should tell her boyfriend her love language is designer purses, and she needs him to buy her one once per week to feel loved. 

Snark aside, most users agreed OP should, at the very least, stop cooking for him altogether. 

“Stop cooking, go to the gym and spend your time how you want. He has no leg to stand on to expect that you would make dinner every night. I’m willing to bet this is just one area in the relationship where he’s selfish,” stated one Redditor. 

Many wondered why she’s even staying in the relationship, and some pointed out the signs of manipulation. 

“I mean I’d be more concerned about the blatant manipulation than the actual chore list. Gross,” commented another. 

Source: Reddit